Artist websites tend to be neglected and put second to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, disregarding the incredible potential and unexplored opportunities of their website. Unlike social media sites that are crowded with the traffic of millions of people joined together for all kinds of different reasons, an artist’s website is unique for the sole reason that it is visited purely for a specific artist. But take a second and think about your favourite artist. How many social media sites do you follow them on? Probably a few. But when was the last time you checked out their website? And when was the last time before that? Let me guess, you can’t remember, can you? Honestly, if you look past all the fancy overpriced merchandise and cluttered announcements, websites nowadays are pretty pathetic; they are boring, impersonal, and offer no consistent draw for fans. A website is an artist’s central hub; it is where all of their social media profiles link back to, and it is where everything that they will ever do is either going to be announced, sold, and/ or released. So why is an artist’s website such a big turn off on social media? If anything, it should be a hub for fans, offering something intriguing to all newcomers, and exclusives to the most loyal of fans. A website has the potential to be a place that everyone is encouraged to visit regularly for updates, exclusives, news and announcements coming straight from the artist, creating the impression of intimacy. A fan who only follows an artist only social media can easily miss important announcements, not because they are not interested, but because of simple factors such as being online at different times, or having a timeline cluttered with the posts of hundreds of other accounts. Failing to ensure that you are creating a draw for all fans to a place where they can easily access and see important announcements has the danger of lessening the success of an album or song, ticket sales, and overall revenue. It also risks having fans forget about the artist solely because they are not offered a constant draw and they are not seeing posts regularly on other social media sites. Adding an exclusive feature to a website that will constantly attract people to it will develop more intimate relationships with fans by communicating and interacting with them more frequently, and will maximize the number of people who will know about your music releases, tours, merchandise, contests etc. Maybe it is creating a personalized and intimate feature on a website for fans like a blog associated with the website, available on a separate page featured on the main menu along with the main pages such as “Live Dates”, Merchandise”, “About”, etc. Imagine having a place where your purpose isn’t to sell your brand to your followers, but instead to have a conversation with genuine fans who care about how an artist feels as a real person, not just a celebrity. Artists could post a compilation of genuine, personal and natural videos, pictures, and short posts every few days updating fans on their upcoming plans, what they’ve been up to, and offering an exclusive glimpse inside their lives. For example, think of the type of videos that artists post on their snapchats for fans, and how personal they are. Now imagine doing the exact same thing on a website, only ten times better. However, that’s just how I picture it. As an artist, you need to develop a strategy that is genuine, and that will accurately reflect your personality and contribute to your overall goals and purpose. Develop an idea that works accordingly with the way that you want to communicate with people, the relationship that you want to have with fans, and what you think will work best for them.

Fans only want to feel close to the artists that they follow, and to be a part of something. If you give them that opportunity, not only will you increase the quality of the experience that they are receiving, but it would also contribute to the development of the overall image of the artist, allowing people to get to know the artist as a real person instead of a famous persona.

The idea of having to consistently update and maintain a blog may seem daunting to some, and many artists may be intimidated with the uncertainty of what to post. The best thing you can do in this situation whether it’s on a blog or any other social media sites is to talk naturally as though talking to friends or family. I think the most intimidating aspect of social media sites that scares most new artists is the idea of talking to fans whom they don’t know and have never met. The most important thing is to ignore that idea and post naturally because it is the only way your genuine personality will be honestly portrayed and your image will develop a true reflection of who you are.

Key Factors of a Website:
-Primary pages: “About”, “Live Dates”, “Merchandise”, “Music”, “Media” (videos and pictures)
-Other pages can include: “Contact”, “Links”, “Lyrics” (these are just ideas that I’ve seen on a few)
-Link to your main social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr, etc)
-LINK TO YOUR MUSIC
-Emailing List signup
-A registered domain name (i.e www.thebestband.com): Brand/ image recognition: does the layout of your website, it’s colour scheme, the fonts used, logos, pictures, posts, etc accurately reflect the image that you are trying to create for yourself

Exemplar Artist Websites:

Taylor Swift: http://taylorswift.com/
Melanie Martinez: http://melaniemartinezmusic.com/
The 1975 : http://the1975.com/

Website Templates:

Mass Search: http://themeforest.net/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=&view=list&sort=&date=&category=wordpress%2Fentertainment&tags%5B%5D=music&price_min=&price_max=&sales=&rating_min

Full Screen, Big Image, Scroll Down concept
http://themeforest.net/item/speaker-one-page-music-wordpress-theme/full_screen_preview/7633220
http://kopatheme.com/demo/beat-mix-responsive-music-and-band-template/
http://kopatheme.com/demo/beat-mix-responsive-music-and-band-template/
**http://themeforest.net/item/scroller-parallax-scroll-responsive-theme/full_screen_preview/4858606
**http://themeforest.net/item/jamsession-music-music-band-wordpress-theme/full_screen_preview/6542149

Other:
http://themeforest.net/item/platonic-restaurant-event-wordpress-theme/11595782
http://demo.grandpixels.com/?theme=metric
http://themeforest.net/item/beaton-music-radio-events-wordpress-theme/full_screen_preview/11581259

Have questions about your website, or need help building one? Email me at alison@alisonperdue.com and I’d love to share my experience and offer help in any way I can!